The ten golden rules of puppy care
Owning a puppy can be a lot of fun and highly rewarding – however, there are a lot of responsibilities involved. Here, we’ve compiled a list of ‘golden rules’ to help remind you of some of the more important things you need to know about raising a puppy.
Training starts on day one
Since dogs aren’t born fully trained, your puppy will be looking to you for guidance. Good training plays a big role in ensuring a happy and successful relationship between you and your dog. Through training, your dog will learn to understand what his human companions expect of him and be better equipped to fit into his environment. Likewise, the better you understand your dog's behavior, the more rewarding your relationship will be.
A puppy needs a balanced diet
What you feed your puppy really matters. In fact, he needs special nutrition with just the right amounts of protein, fats, minerals and vitamins. A puppy's diet must also be balanced so he receives the right amount of nutrients. Food should be concentrated to allow him to take in all the needed nutrients with a small amount of food. And always make sure your puppy gets plenty of fresh, clean water.
Keep your puppy well groomed
Start grooming your puppy at an early age. The earlier your dog gets to know the procedure, the more readily he will get used to it.
Puppies need regular dental care
Taking care of your puppy’s teeth now will prevent a lot of problems later on in his life. In fact, the number one health problem for dogs, apart from being overweight, is periodontal disease. The accumulation of tartar and plaque and the resulting gingivitis can lead to more serious disease. So start brushing your puppy’s teeth now, because most dogs over two years of age who haven’t received regular dental care have these dental problems.
Exercise your puppy daily
Part of the normal routine for a healthy puppy is regular exercise. The amount your dog needs will depend not only on his size, but also on his breed. Don't make the mistake of over-exercising your puppy, however. A growing puppy’s bones aren’t yet strong enough to cope with the extra stress this puts on him.
Regular vet check ups
Ideally, you should choose a vet even before bringing your puppy home. Then, once your puppy is home, you should take him in to the vet within the next day or so for an overall check-up. In the first few months, there’ll be several visits to the vet for various vaccinations and spaying/neutering. Once your pup reaches adulthood, at least one visit a year is required to ensure his ongoing good health.
Give your puppy home health checks
You can play a big role in keeping your puppy healthy by doing health check ups at home. Checking his weight, coat and skin, eyes and ears, teeth and gums, and doing spot checks can prevent little problems from turning into big ones. .
Introduce your puppy to other dogs
One of the best ways to teach good canine manners is to allow your puppy to interact with an adult dog. Most adult dogs won’t be aggressive toward a puppy though sometimes, a big dog will find a way to put a puppy in its place, perhaps with a growl or a snap. Don’t prevent an adult dog from doing this, since puppies learn to limit the strength of their bite and how to control themselves. If you prevent an older dog from controlling a puppy, then the puppy soon learns to think of himself as the boss and that he can do anything he wants
Reward good behavior
Positive reinforcement is a powerful way to make your puppy a well-behaved member of your family. Reward him with a treat or praise when he does what you tell him. This will encourage the repetition of good behavior and will increase the likelihood that he will repeat the desired behavior in the future.
Raising a puppy requires a lot of love and even more patience. Educate yourself by reading as much as you can about raising a dog, talking to other dog owners and communicating with your vet. This will eliminate many “surprises” along the way, and will put you well on the path to building a strong, long-lasting relationship with your puppy.
Puppy in it new home
Eight to Ten weeks is usually the time a puppy is normally placed in its new home. It's ready to learn and intensive socialization should begin. Give it lots of attention and affection. Pet him or her and call it by its chosen name. puppies may cry at night because ( it has lost all it brother and sister and they can be very frightened ) Socializing your puppy to other dogs is important, Give it the opportunity for safe, controlled interaction with dogs whose owners you know and be sure the dogs are immunized
also aid in training your puppy. As you place its food dish on the floor, give
the command, "Come," preceded by the name you have chosen for it.
This introduces your puppy to an obedience command and helps teach it to respond
to its name.prase the puppy when they have eaten there food make feeding a happy
time for the puppy and feed him a regular time most breeder tell you the time
they have feed the puppy and what they have been feeding them on
A dog or puppy is either housetrained or not. If your dog is sneaking off to another room and having an accident, you will have to take some of his freedom away until you can solve the problem. The longer you allow this type of behavior to exist, the harder it will be to modify. Unless you can catch him, it really does not do any good to drag him off to the site of his mishap and try and punish him. Keep him in sight if he is bold enough to try something in front of you, say "No," get his attention and take him outdoors quickly so he can finish eliminating in the appropriate area.Ever time he wake up take him out side if he wee tell him how good he or she is give lots of fuss Remember, it is your house. He has to earn his freedom through good behavior and this is your responsibility.
Training your puppy:
As your puppy settles into its new home, it may encounter new situations which will be potentially stressful to it. Helping your puppy adjust to these situations minimizes future behavior problems. You may find that your puppy is frightened by loud noises. During a thunderstorm, fireworks or when appliances are operating, such as the dishwasher or vacuum sweeper, play with your puppy as you normally do or pet and reassure it that the noises are simply "business as usual." Reward it with a dog snack for being calm during the noise.
Get him or
her used to a collar round there neck Your puppy's first collar should be made
of lightweight nylon or leather. To measure your puppy's collar size, measure
his neck and add two inches. To ensure that the collar fits properly, you should
be able to slide two fingers between the collar and your puppy's neck. If your
fingers fit comfortably, you have the right size collar. If there is extra room,
you need a smaller size. If both fingers don't fit, the collar is too small.
It may take a while for your puppy to get used to wearing his collar, so don't
be discouraged if he is uncomfortable and scratches his collar.
Take them out side on there lead never pull your puppy along let them walk and encourage them tell them how good they are let them get used to the big wide world first
Sit them in
your car for a bit at a time then take them a little trips to get them used
to your car
Be aware that scolding your puppy after it has misbehaved is fruitless. If you catch the puppy in the act of chewing, remove the object with a very firm "no." Let the puppy sense, through the firmness of your voice, that chewing is unacceptable. Correct your puppy quietly and firmly each time you catch him chewing. Realize that chewing is natural behavior for a puppy. It eases the discomfort of teething and is part of the puppy's exploring its environment through the sense of taste. Give your puppy safe chew toys such hard rubber toys. Avoid toys containing parts that might come loose and be swallowed such as plastic eyes or metal balls. Praise him when he plays with his chew toys. Never give the puppy a special sock or slipper to chew or a toy that looks like a slipper. Puppies cannot tell the difference between the toy and the real thing. Treat objects your puppy chews with hot pepper or with Bitter Apple for furniture, a bad tasting product available at pet stores. Boredom may also lead to chewing. Be certain your puppy enjoys play periods and enjoys walks with family members. Before leaving your puppy alone, take him for a walk or spend time playing with him. He will have less energy for chewing. Confine the puppy to his crate or to a small area, such as the kitchen. A pet gate may be useful in confining the puppy. Leave drinking water and chew toys.
If you want to breed with your bitch in my opinion you should not mate her till her third season give her chance to mature herself first I only let my bitches have two litter I think that's is enough for one bitch having pup is not easy read as much as you can about breeding and ask advice of older breeder most people are willing to help you if you ask and if you want to use your dog at stud again in my opinion he should be at leased be a year old to 18 month give him time to mature as well and the first time you mate him use him on your own bitch first so you can see what he throws and then give the pups time to grow to see they are all right before you put him out at stud
Some problems that bulldogs some time my have
Probably an allergy like grass Carpet , possibly the food you are feeding - If this cannot be controlled by diet then you may need to see your vet, I feed Nutro choice complete food (Lamb and Rice )which is renown for the benefits it gives the skin some dogs milk can upset the balance or eggs .
Where the gland under the third eyelid protrudes and looks rather like a cherry in the corner of the eye. Your vet will need to remove the gland (some prefer to tuck) but I all way have them taken off . Occasionally removal of the gland causes dry eye I have never had this you need a good vet that knows what he doing .a few day of putting cream in the eye after having it off the redness goes and it back to normal
Where the eyelashes have turned inwards and are rubbing against the eye, again surgery may be required. Dont confuse this with stray eyelashes that are just growing astray, these can be plucked with tweezers (you may prefer your vet to do this). Entropian needs surgery - if left the in-turned lashes will scratch the cornea and the result will be a severely damaged eye, at worst blindness or loss of eye never mess with eye trouble always see your vet.
You will need to obtain a cream from your vet to apply to the affected eye, repeated bouts of conjunctivitis can cause the dog to retract the eyeball which in severe cases can lead to entropian.
Rather like a fit, but effecting just the head, which will involuntary shake from side to side, sometimes violently enough to cause their lips to flap about. We have always found them to be linked to stress which may cause the blood sugar level to drop enough to trigger the head shake. Giving some glucose or runny honey to bring the blood sugar level back up should help although distraction often stops the shaking. If you are unable to link the attack to a specific stressful incident then your bulldog may be suffering in some way and it is advisable that you get your vet to check him over. Note, many vets are unfamiliar with this breed specific condition and some breeders attribute them to a lack of calcium as they are common in the pregnant or nursing bitch. However please do not give calcium under normal circumstances as this could effect the bone formation of your puppy, Always check the ears first as this to can make them shake there heads if they have an ear infection
Because of the bulldogs
rapid growth it is very important that you keep play and exercise properly managed
in the first 9 months, early joint damage could be permanent and may lead to
osteoarthritis, irregular growth in the bones could lead to joint deformities.
Hip/elbow displaysia is genetic but can be encouraged via environmental factors
(i.e.: slippery floors, jumping etc). Fairly often puppy limping will disappear
at maturity and is usually due to the rapid growth spurts or an incorrect diet
Elongated Soft Palate and other airway disorders: Every bulldog has an elongated soft palate, this is because of the shape of their heads (i.e.: brachycephalic - short nosed). In most cases this causes nothing more than snoring, but in severe cases will cause your bulldog difficulty in breathing. Heat and exercise will cause loud, gurgle breathing, (commonly known as "roaring") and your bulldog may appear to be "lazy". The severity can range from loud breathing when excited, during/after exercise to total exercise intolerance, regurgitation of food to permanent breathing difficulties. The condition can be corrected with surgery and you need to be sure that the vet you chose to carry out this surgery totally understand brachycephalic breeds.
If your dog has a white face you may find that over time the tears from his eyes cause his face to stain red. This may be attributed to the red coloring in the food hes eating but this is not always the case, some bulldogs produce red tears and some dont, those with white faces will have these stains more than dark colored faces. A daily wipe with "Optrex" eye wash will help, Optrex contains boric acid and witch-hazel which will break up the stain and will not effect the dogs eyes as the solution specifically for use in the eyes.I also use Morhalin cream (from the chemist its a baby nappy rash cream) and baby wipes that keeps them nice and clean.
Looking after a bulldog involves daily care of the face and the deep folds. Wash their faces on a daily basis with either a soft cloth and water or unscented baby wipes. Be sure to dry the face properly and then apply Morhalin cream (from the chemist its a baby nappy rash cream to the folds, extra care is needed to the nose roll which in some bulldogs can be very deep.always keep it clean especially in the summer
A true bulldog tail is a dream to look after, ideally he should have a nice straight spiked tail, moderate in length, that can be easily lifted away from the body - however, screw tails in bulldogs are not uncommon and this and/or an inverted tail (where the tail is growing back into the body) can cause your bulldog a few problems. You should endeavor to keep tight tails clean and DRYand then apply Morhalin cream (from the chemist its a baby nappy rash cream, but if this proves to be a problem you should consult your vet
Your dogs temperature should be between 100 and 101 (approx. 38.6)
Please try to find a vet that understands the bulldog and is Bulldog friendly
There are various serious diseases which dogs can catch throughout life. We strongly recommend that all puppies are given vaccinations which will protect them from these illnesses.
To build protection (immunity), puppies need to be given two injections, which are given several weeks apart:
If your puppy is eight to ten weeks of age at the
first injection, the second injection cannot be given until they are twelve
weeks old. The puppy should not be allowed on the ground in parks or on pavements
until 7 to 10 days after the second injection.
If your puppy is ten weeks of age or more at the first injection, the second vaccination can be given two weeks later and must be kept away from the park and pavements for a further seven to ten days.
A booster vaccination is required every year, for which we will send you a reminder.
The diseases which these vaccinations provide protection against are:
or hard pad This is caught through the respiratory tract. The symptoms are runny nose and eyes, coughing and vomiting, finally the pads begin to thicken and the dog may start to have fits. If the disease is not fatal, the dog may develop deformed teeth and nervous problems.
Parvovirus This virus is transmitted by faeces of infected dogs. The symptoms are severe vomiting and lots of diarrhoea which contains blood. Death may occur from dehydration.
Hepatitis This is transmitted by close dog contact. The symptoms of hepatitis are discomfort and lack of appetite. Jaundice may occur. If untreated, hepatitis is fatal.
or Weils disease This is spread by contact with infected urine and can be transmitted to human beings. Signs of infection are high temperature, thirst, lethargy (slowness and/or tiredness). If the dog survives, the kidneys may be damaged and cause problems in later life.
If your puppy is likely to mix closely with other dogs or go into boarding kennels we strongly advise that your puppy be given Intrac, an intranasal vaccine which lasts for six months and is best given at least ten to fourteen days before mixing with other dogs.
Intrac protects against a respiratory infection called Bordetellosis, which is sometimes referred to as ‘kennel cough’ - although it can in fact be caught just from meeting dogs in the park or at training classes.
Further details on all these diseases can be found in the leaflets Why your dog needs a vaccination every year, More about vaccination and the Intrac leaflet. These are obtainable from reception in most vets.
We recommend that you take out an insurance policy in case your dog suffers a major accident or illness.
It’s too easy to think that ‘it’ll never happen to me’ - however insurance offers peace of mind if your animal needs urgent or long-term veterinary treatment.
There are various policies available, which may
cover veterinary fees, third party liability (e.g. if your dog causes an accident)
and other benefits.when you buy your puppy the breeder should give you 6 weeks
Insurance free uselly the insurance company will contact you before it runs
out and the kennel club do one when you register your new puppy
Identichip & Tags
It is a legal requirement that all dogs be identified with a tag so that you can be contacted if the dog is found. Engraved tags are available at the Vet surgery.
If your dog is likely to stray or roam or is likely to be kidnapped, we recommend that you have your dog identichipped.
This involves inserting a microchip under the skin at the back of the neck. This chip holds a unique barcode number which is stored at a central bureau. If your dog is found he/she can be scanned for the chip, the number read and the bureau consulted, so that the dog can be reunited with you.
Identichipping costs around £24.00, which
includes lifetime registration
Feeding your Dog
We recommend that dogs are fed a high quality, fixed formulation feed which is specific to their life stage.
Research has shown that dogs have different nutritional requirements at various stages of their life; feeding the wrong diet can make your dog susceptible to certain illnesses, and could shorten their life. Diets have therefore been created which are designed specifically for e.g. growing dogs, lactating dogs, active dogs, old dogs.
A fixed formulation feed is a diet which contains guaranteed levels of important nutrients such as proteins, energy, vitamins and minerals; the ingredients which make up the food are also consistent i.e. a chicken recipe will contain chicken and not just be ‘chicken flavoured.’
These diets come in canned or dry varieties. We
recommend the dry variety because they are better for dogs teeth and are also
more economical most breeders give a diet sheet when you buy your new puppy
Worms generally live in a dog’s intestines. If untreated, they cause loss of condition, affecting growth in puppies or causing adult dogs to lose weight. They also pose a risk to human health, particularly for children.
Puppies should be wormed at their first health check with Panacur, which is a powder given in the food over three days. It is very effective against roundworms, which are the worms that puppies are most likely to carry.
The worming is repeated at vaccination.
After this, we recommend that dogs are wormed every
three to six months. The worming at six months can be done at the health check.
At this age, dogs become susceptible to tapeworms as well as to other less common
worms; we can provide you with tablets which are effective against all important
worms. Wormers sold at pet shops may only treat certain types of worm, and may
not be as effective as the tablets we are able to supply.
Fleas make dogs itchy, which makes them scratch. This is distressing - but if untreated will lead to soreness and hair loss, and can also cause other skin conditions.
Fleas are the most common reason for your dog to be scratching, however there are many other skin conditions which may be responsible.
If you suspect fleas, it is important to make an appointment for the veterinary surgeon to see your dog so that we can examine him/her properly and give you appropriate treatment.
It is important to treat fleas immediately, before they become a severe problem.
Treating fleas involves eliminating fleas from the animal and from the environment.
We do not recommend flea collars, powders, aerosol sprays or combs because they are generally either not very effective or are toxic.
There are two flea control products that we sell for dogs with fleas: Advantage which is a topical preparation put on the back of the neck every month or Frontline which is a pump-action spray used every one to three months.
If your dog is 'flea free,' we recommend Program which is put in the food. If the dog picks up a flea, Program stops the flea eggs hatching and therefore prevents further problems.
Only 5% of the flea population is on your dog at
any one time; the remaining 95% live in the environment. It is therefore very
important to treat your home at the same time as you treat your dog. There are
two products available for this: Acclaim or Fleaban (the latter is especially
good for houses with bare boards).
Your Dog’s Teeth
As your dog gets older, deposits like plaque and tartar build up on their teeth. In time this can cause problems such as bad breath, toothache, difficulties eating - and even heart and kidney disease.
You can prevent this happening in various ways:
It is never too early to start brushing your dog’s teeth. Brushing when young gets your puppy used to having his/her mouth examined and is the best way to minimise plaque and tartar build up in later years. Puppy starter packs are available with toothpaste in malt or chicken flavour. Using toothpaste for human beings will cause vomiting.
Older dogs can be fed a complete diet which will maintain dental health called Hills t/d if you find it difficult to brush your dogs teeth. This comes in two sizes of kibble (biscuit) suitable for different sizes of dog. For the best results it should be fed all the time.
Also available at the surgery are dog chews, for days when you can’t brush the teeth which will help to keep the teeth clean.
If the teeth are found to need attention, your dog may need a dental scale and polish which is carried out under a general anaesthetic. The teeth will be closely examined; any causing problems may have to be extracted. At this time a blood test can be performed to check liver and kidney function, and appropriate dental care procedures will be demonstrated to you.
Dogs can be castrated any time after six months of age.
A castrated dog is less likely to roam and will be less aggressive. It will also of course not be able to play any part in causing unwanted litters of puppies.
Castration requires that your dog be admitted for a day to have a general anaesthetic and surgery. He will be able to go home the same day, but must be kept quiet and warm. After the operation, exercise should be restricted (i.e. on a lead only) until the stitches come out.
Bitches can be spayed at six months, before the first season. If your bitch has already had a season, then the safest time for surgery is mid-way between seasons - usually three months after a season.
A spayed bitch is unlikely to have a phantom pregnancy and there is evidence that spaying reduces the changes of developing mammary tumors.
The operation is called an ovariohysterectomy and requires that your bitch be admitted for a day to have a general anaesthetic and surgery. She will be able to go home the same day, but must be kept quiet and warm. After the operation, she should be prevented from jumping up or running up and down stairs. Exercise should be restricted (i.e. on a lead only) until the stitches come out.
The The vet will check the operation on day 3 and again on day 10 when the stitches are removed.
If a bitch is not spayed there is always a risk that she may develop an infection in the uterus, called a pyometra, which can be life-threatening. The signs to look out for are increased drinking, a swollen tummy and sometimes a vaginal discharge. This often occurs after a season. If your bitch shows any of these signs, it is important to seek veterinary attention as soon as possible; she may need major emergency surgery.
Annual Health Check
We recommend that you take your dog for a thorough health check every year.
This physical examination will include listening to the heart, checking the weight, checking teeth, ears, anal glands and nails; by monitoring these every year we are able to detect diseases in their early stages and therefore to ensure your pet is in the best of health.
If you bring a fresh urine sample we can perform an analysis on it to check for abnormalities. We can also run tests on a blood sample, but we need to take this when the dog has not been fed in the last twelve hours. Both of these involve an extra fee.
A booster vaccination is required every year to maintain protection against disease; this can be combined with the annual health check. We will send you a reminder when your vaccination is due.
If the gap between vaccinations is fifteen months or more (three months overdue) then a repeat vaccination course must be given i.e. two injections, two weeks apart.
Bitches should not be given vaccinations while pregnant. If you are planning to mate your bitch, contact the surgery for an appointment in order that we can give her a health check, offer you advice on breeding and assess her vaccination status.
Unfortunately, your dog’s life will have to come to an end.
Even though modern advances allow vets to maintain an active lifestyle for many older pets, at some point the options for treatment will be exhausted and our dog can be suffering
When your dog’s quality of life is poor, you have to make decisions about their future in return for the years of happiness they have given you. At this very sad time, we have to think of the dog not our self's
A health pet is a happy pet
For more information on Bulldogs go to this page